To Divide and Conquer…the Middle Class

In the wake of the State of the Union address, the camp on the right seemed to be following it’s party line, with every comment pitched to the nearest journalist. the GOP is dead set on lambasting President Obama, for what it seems, anything he has to say: “Ladies and Gentlemen of the United States, it is impossible to find something cuter than kittens meowing!” The Republicans would fire back with, “…This President, and his administration, are deliberately misleading the public. It is a well known fact that puppies barking are the cutest thing we have to offer the public. It’s what they want!”

It is a bickering match for the sake of bickering. The two parties in the US political melee are not unlike an old married couple, who recognize they have no one else to turn to, and no where else to go, so they channel the hate and misery inside them, and devote the rest of their time on earth to making their partner equally miserable.

Or, a simpler metaphor: it’s 4th grade, President Obama is the kid who wears head gear and has a different horse sweater for every day; and the Republicans are everyone else. He’ll just never win.

And as if knocked on the knee with a little hammer, their proverbial leg jumped forth in the form of the official Republican response, given by the Indiana Governor, Mitch Daniels. Mr. Daniels, in response to the State of the Union address, said: “No feature of the Obama presidency has been sadder than its constant effort to divide us, to curry favor with some Americans by castigating others…As in previous moments of national danger, we American are all in the same boat.” And, our cute friends in the schoolyard punch-up that is the race for the Republican candidacy, said something painfully similar.

Newt said Obama, “seemed to be setting up an entire year of divisiveness, an entire year of getting nothing done.”

And Mitt, so far, has been the only one not to use some derivative of the word divide. Instead, he used the tax cloud hanging over him, to bash the President’s desire to raise taxes on the wealthy.

But, it’s not the big bully club that’s bothering me, but the hypocritical statements given by the Republican base that distresses me. This constant notion of division, and the inflammatory buzzwords such as “extremism,” used elsewhere in the response, to instill a frightening word into the minds of the public. Or, more directly, the impressionable minds of America.

Let us return to the use of the word, division; divide, and so on. The claim that Obama is creating, or attempting to create, a divide between the have’s and have not’s. Firstly, does that not exist now? Has that divide not existed for time immemorial? What were the great castles of medieval Europe for? To create a divide between those with money, and those without. By including himself in the citizens who should be taxed more, he is throwing down the gauntlet, accepting that something must be done, and if in fact Mr. Daniels believes that we are indeed, “all in the same boat,” than surely he wouldn’t mind picking up a pail to help bail out some of the water that has leaked into our ship? It is this perceived idea that increased taxes directly takes money out of our pockets, which is harmful, and ultimately detrimental to the nation as a whole. Increased tax does not have to go to welfare programs, or a poor immigrant needing medical treatment (though it should…tis the christian duty to help those less fortunate, but that is another left vs. right argument, for another day), but rather to services used by all: improved infrastructure, better trained police and fire units, schools and teachers better geared towards investing in youth, and so on.

The fact is, we are in the same boat, some just have better cabins than others, but the end result is the same: we sink. Do you wish to die in luxury, or save the ship?

The divide is ever present because people are not capable of getting jobs, because they are being sent abroad for tax breaks, or the poor education system didn’t prepare them for the job market.

It’s a sad state in American politics when voters listen to the leaders of their party discuss financial envy, and a country divided, while they are on welfare, unable to find a well paying job…and agree with it; incapable of seeing that they are who the left is trying to help. That this divide is at the heart of the Republican nomination race. Who is more republican than the other? Who is more Christian? Who is more conservative? That guy is too liberal, and he does this or doesn’t do that, don’t vote for him. It’s all the same rhetoric fed to bash the incumbent, which is being used to bash each other.

If President Obama is being accused of dividing the country in his attempt to revive the middle class by reminding the population that people such as Warren Buffet pays less in income tax than his own secretary, then what is the Republican tussle in the primary’s, and the promise to keep the wealthy, very wealthy, and the poor, very poor, via tax reductions?

It’s the road to a wealthy future.

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In flux

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